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BBPS: Making utility bills and insurance payments a breeze for rural India

Akshay Das is a bit troubled.  It is 2 pm and it has been raining non-stop since early morning. Das had to make the trip to the nearest town to make the last-minute monthly electricity bill payment as well as the premium for his life insurance policy. But due to the poor weather, he will have to wait till Monday and, maybe, pay a late fee fine as well which leads to another unnecessary expense.

But today evening will be special for him. Shyam Pal, his childhood friend, and the next-door neighbor will introduce him to the concept of digital payments and transactions.

It is evening time and Pal finds Das downcast in his home. He listened to his reasons for disappointment and asks Das to fetch the payment details. As Das brings a copy of

the bill, Pal takes out his smartphone, and with the press of a few buttons on the touchscreen, makes the payment.

Pal forwards the SMS confirmation on his mobile to Das as proof of the payment done. Das is relieved and wants to learn more about the payment system(BBPS).

So, what did Pal do? He made the payment on behalf of Das through the Bharat Bill Payment System.

BBPS is a centralized bill payment platform that allows consumers to make bill payments of utility services, such as mobile and landline telephones, electricity, gas, DTH, credit cards, and insurance premiums, through an online payment mode, either by self or through agent outlets.

The key feature of BBPS:

  • In a nutshell, BBPS connects billers and banks to make a payment towards bills in a seamless and convenient online mode.
  • The online channels include the bank (standing instructions, ATM, quick pay e-bill payment system), third-party payment gateway site (via Internet, mobile, and e-bill payment), and biller website (Internet and mobile).
  • The physical channels include biller outlets, third-party (agent) outlets, and self-help kiosks, where the vendor helps the consumer make the online payment.

It seems a bit confusing? Worry not. It’s simple and convenient to operate.Das can either carry a copy of the bill to a BBPS Agent outlet (third party), or himself make the payment through an online mode (Internet, mobile), both through a third-party site, bank website, or biller website.